Finding Purpose By Teaching Scrum
It’s been a year since I joined the Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainers Community. 2018 marks my fifth year in teaching Scrum. Allow me to reflect on this journey.
In the beginning, I would literally run to another building, which was at least a block away, to meet my colleagues very eager to learn Scrum. I would do this every single day, extending my work hours, but confident that this is all worthwhile.
One time, a colleague asked me in the elevator where I was going. I said I’m teaching Scrum tonight. ”You’re just wasting your time”, he said. I shrugged it off, pretended I didn’t hear it.
But as I was on my way to the other building, it hit me. Is it really a waste of time? What drives this perception?
Time quickly passed by. And soon enough, batches of Scrum students graduated and later became certified. I wasn’t just the company’s Chief Architect anymore, I’ve added Scrum Trainer and Mentor to my profile as well. Both equally fulfilling.
I get touched by people bringing me stuff like garlic, bottled vinegar, nuts, native delicacies, after spending the holidays in the provinces. To be remembered as a teacher warms my heart. It’s simply priceless.
As in any other company, people come and go. But I really appreciate it when they go see me on their last day to say goodbye.
I know each and every student by name, or at least their first name. Even after Scrum training, I get to see them in the office and some would approach me and ask about new Scrum topics. Some would share their experiences and challenges in applying Scrum.
There are those who got inspired, and started mentoring others as well. In my first blog, I referred to this as paying it forward.
I attended the PSM Train-the-Trainer class in Germany many years ago, but I still remember Gunther Verheyen, my trainer, asking me to reflect on what kind of trainer I hope to be. That I was to not look at teaching through its monetary returns but rather find that intrinsic reason on why I do it in the first place.
My friend Steve Porter once told me, this is a journey. And there will be stops along the way; some better than the others. With each stop, we learn a little more, become a little wiser. But there is more – in each stop, we could try to touch someone’s life, by being kind and helpful. In mentoring others through Scrum, I have finally found my purpose.